We need to move forward—or backward—in what we expect development finance institutions (DFIs) to do in terms of financing private sector development in the world’s poorest countries.
CGD Policy Blogs
In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Jam v. IFC, which centered around harm to farming and fishing communities caused by Tata Mundra, a coal plant financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC’s board has yet to release the final report. It must do so now.
Philippe Le Houerou, the Chief Executive of the IFC has announced his intention to step down in September. His legacy will include a significant effort to focus the work of the corporation on development impact and the world’s poorest countries. Le Houerou has had some success. But a look at IFC’s portfolio suggests how far the institution still has to go to have the biggest impact.
The participation of women in the Nigerian tech sector is low. In a survey of tech firms conducted by the ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development, only about 30 percent were owned by women, mostly concentrated in e-commerce and enterprise solutions. Of women-owned firms, the median share of ownership is 20 percent. Tech firms do not employ many women either—31 firms in our sample employ no women at all. The median value is two female employees per firm.
A new survey of Nigerian tech firms from CGD and the ONE Campaign brings new data on the challenges and opportunities for the tech sector.
Last week, the US Treasury Department submitted a report to the appropriations committees of the House and Senate on strengthening the accountability mechanisms of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, fulfilling a requirement included in the spending package signed into law earlier this year. The report acknowledges recent increases in caseloads and recommends that both the Inspection Panel and the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) be allocated larger budgets to carry out their responsibilities.
International Finance Corporation CEO Philippe Le Houerou announced that the IFC’s board will undertake a review of its accountability mechanisms, including the office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman. The announcement is timely. By initiating a review, IFC’s Board is taking the first step toward a more transparent and accountable operating structure.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) issued a report this week on the performance of CDC–the UK’s development finance institution–in low-income and fragile states. ICAI gives CDC an Amber/Red rating on its performance, which means “unsatisfactory achievement in most areas, with some positive elements.” In particular, the commission says that CDC has not done enough to monitor its performance.
The US Supreme Court decided, in a ruling on Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC), that the IFC can be sued in US courts.
Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Jam et al v. International Finance Corporation. At stake: the extent to which international organizations including the IFC enjoy immunity from prosecution in US courts.